Philippines to send its top trail runners Compete in the World Mountain Trail Running Championships

The Philippine Trail Running National Team, an affiliate member of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, is set to compete in the upcoming World Mountain Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck, Austria from June 6-10, 2023.

Philtra formed a national team composed of some of the best trail runners in the country who were chosen through a series of competitions from June 2022 leading to the finals held in Bontoc last February 26, 2023. They are looking forward to representing the Philippines on the international stage. Representatives will be announced in April 2023.

The World Mountain Trail Running Championships is one of the most prestigious trail running events in the world, attracting elite athletes from around the globe. This year’s event features a challenging course through the scenic mountain trails of Innsbruck, promising an unforgettable experience for all participants.

The Philippine Trail Running National Team is comprised of the following experienced and talented athletes:


  • John Ray Onifa (Antique)
  • Arnie Macaneras (Davao)
  • Larry Apolinario (Antique)
  • Jayson Zonio (Rizal/Pasig)
  • Randolph Gonzales (Rizal)
  • Godwin Mirar (Bukidnon)


  • Elizabeth Dangadang (Baguio)
  • Cecille Wael (Leyte/Makati)
  • Augustoralin Sabanal-Marte (Zamboanga/Caloocan)
  • Angelie Cabalo (South Cotabato)
  • Christabel Martes (Baguio)
  • Gretchen Felipe (Benguet)

Representing the Philippines in the World Mountain Trail Running Championships is a dream come true for most athletes. “This is a great opportunity for them to compete against some of the best trail runners in the world and raise the flag,” says Team Manager, Doctor Marc Molina.

The team’s training has started and it is being led by renowned trail running coach of elite athletes, Andy Dubois, from Australia. He will be assisted by 2-Time SEA Games Gold Medalist, Christabel Martes, who will work closely with the athletes to ensure that they are in top form for the competition. The team members will undergo an exclusive trail running camp to be held in San Mateo, Rizal, and Baguio City. “We are still completing the coaching team. We hope to fill-in positions for strength and conditioning, nutrition, and recovery,” shared Thumbie Remigio, who heads Athlete Development. The final team selection and line-up which is to be decided during the camp is set to depart for Austria in May 2023 and will have a few weeks to acclimate to the local conditions before the start of the competition.

The officers of the Philippine Trail Running Association (PHILTRA) have expressed their support for the team, and they are confident that the athletes will make the country proud. This is historic for the country.

The formation of the team, preparation, training, and the competition itself is a challenge for us as an association. “In its infancy stage, we have been operating and sustaining our programs through the generous contributions of its core team and friends and a few supporters. We intend to launch a fundraising campaign and have sent solicitation letters to potential donors. The cost of their gear, apparel, and nutrition will be massive given that they will be competing in a place with a different climate. When we met most of these athletes, they do not even have suitable trail running shoes and other basic gear for the sport. Moreover, most of them will have this event as the first opportunity to compete internationally. We also would like to provide them with the proper and complete support to allow them to prepare well and focus,” says Rons Nebre, who is the Head for Marketing and Sponsorship.

“This is a commitment. We will be honest and share that literally we are making both ends meet right now to support this dream. We intend to have a representation of three athletes per short and long-distance categories and see them perform individually and as a team. It’s not just the athletes nor PhilTRA’s dream. It is a dream for our nation,” shared its VP/Secretary General, Tin Ferrera.

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